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In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggest that behaviour change interventions have modest effect sizes, struggle to demonstrate effect in the long term and that there is high heterogeneity between studies. Such interventions take huge effort to design and run for relatively small returns in terms of changes to behaviour.
So why do behaviour change interventions not work and how can we make them more effective? This article offers some ideas about what may underpin the failure of behaviour change interventions. We propose three main reasons that may explain why our current methods of conducting behaviour change interventions struggle to achieve the changes we expect: 1) our current model for testing the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions tends to a mean effect size. This ignores individual differences in response to interventions; 2) our interventions tend to assume that everyone values health in the way we do as health professionals; and 3) the great majority of our interventions focus on addressing cognitions as mechanisms of change. We appeal to people’s logic and rationality rather than recognising that much of what we do and how we behave, including our health behaviours, is governed as much by how we feel and how engaged we are emotionally as it is with what we plan and intend to do.
Drawing on our team’s experience of developing multiple interventions to promote and support health behaviour change with a variety of populations in different global contexts, this article explores strategies with potential to address these issues.
Pacific Island countries are experiencing a high burden of diet-related non-communicable diseases; and consumption of fat, sugar and salt are important modifiable risk factors contributing to this. The present study systematically reviewed and summarized available literature on dietary intakes of fat, sugar and salt in the Pacific Islands.
Electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect and GlobalHealth) were searched from 2005 to January 2018. Grey literature was also searched and key stakeholders were consulted for additional information. Study eligibility was assessed by two authors and quality was evaluated using a modified tool for assessing dietary intake studies.
Thirty-one studies were included, twenty-two contained information on fat, seventeen on sugar and fourteen on salt. Dietary assessment methods varied widely and six different outcome measures for fat, sugar and salt intake – absolute intake, household expenditure, percentage contribution to energy intake, sources, availability and dietary behaviours – were used. Absolute intake of fat ranged from 25·4 g/d in Solomon Islands to 98·9 g/d in Guam, while salt intake ranged from 5·6 g/d in Kiribati to 10·3 g/d in Fiji. Only Guam reported on absolute sugar intake (47·3 g/d). Peer-reviewed research studies used higher-quality dietary assessment methods, while reports from national surveys had better participation rates but mostly utilized indirect methods to quantify intake.
Despite the established and growing crisis of diet-related diseases in the Pacific, there is inadequate evidence about what Pacific Islanders are eating. Pacific Island countries need nutrition monitoring systems to fully understand the changing diets of Pacific Islanders and inform effective policy interventions.
We used a longitudinal twin design to examine selection effects of personality traits at age 11 on high-risk environmental contexts at age 14 and the extent to which these contexts mediated risk for substance abuse at age 17. Socialization at age 11 (willingness to follow rules and endorse conventional values) predicted exposure to contextual risk at age 14. Contextual risk partially mediated the effect of socialization on substance abuse, though socialization also had a direct effect. In contrast, boldness at age 11 (social engagement and assurance, thrill seeking, and stress resilience) also predicted substance abuse directly but was unrelated to contextual risk. There was substantial overlap in the genetic and shared environmental influences on socialization and contextual risk, and genetic risk in socialization contributed to substance abuse indirectly via increased exposure to contextual risk. This suggests that active gene–environment correlations related to individual differences in socialization contributed to an early, high-risk developmental trajectory for adolescent substance abuse. In contrast, boldness appeared to index an independent and direct genetic risk factor for adolescent substance abuse.
The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) group is a consortium of eight longitudinal twin studies established to explore the nature of social context effects and gene-environment interplay in late-life functioning. The resulting analysis of the combined data from over 17,500 participants aged 25–102 at baseline (including nearly 2,600 monogygotic and 4,300 dizygotic twin pairs and over 1,700 family members) aims to understand why early life adversity, and social factors such as isolation and loneliness, are associated with diverse outcomes including mortality, physical functioning (health, functional ability), and psychological functioning (well-being, cognition), particularly in later life.
Without even knowing of their existence, Mendel discovered how genes operate when they are completely penetrant, although they rarely are, at least with respect to human personality and psychopathology; yet quantitative genetics results have conclusively demonstrated their substantial macrolevel influence. Now we need to understand just how incompletely penetrant genes make their contributions to psychopathology. Exciting new developments in molecular genetics and epigenetics provide new insight into gene action in principle but have been of limited value so far in understanding the emergence of psychopathology. Some of the most helpful postulates might come from evolutionary and developmental biology and agricultural breeding experiments. I describe the all but forgotten evolutionary mechanisms articulated by Schmalhausen, a Russian evolutionary biologist whose work was suppressed by Stalin in the 1940s. I focus on Schmalhausen's law, the observation that organisms living in conditions at the boundary of their tolerance in any one aspect of existence will be vulnerable to expression of genetic liabilities related to all other aspects of existence. I show how Schmalhausen's ideas are relevant to the results of a century-long corn-breeding experiment and the current concepts of facilitated variation and cryptic genetic variation. I then discuss the relevance of all of these to understanding genetic influences on personality and psychopathology.
The Minnesota Twin Registry is a birth-record-based twin registry. Begun in 1983, it includes data for 4307 surviving intact pairs born in Minnesota between 1936 and 1955. In addition, the Registry includes 901 twin pairs born in Minnesota from 1904 to 1934, as well as 391 male pairs born in Minnesota from 1961 to 1964. The research focus is primarily on human individual differences assessed by self-report. Questionnaires completed by the participants include measures of personality, occupational interests, demographics, and leisure-time activities. We outline major contributions that have resulted from Registry research, as well as current and future research directions.
The physiological benefits of vigorous exercise are well established. The existence of psychological benefits is less clear, however, due to methodological limitations common to investigatory studies. Two of these limitations are the difficulty of establishing appropriate control groups and the large variety of highly specific measures of psychological function available for consideration of effects. To address these limitations, we identified 63 pairs of monozygotic twins from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States who were discordant for the amount of vigorous exercise in which they engaged regularly. The twins who regularly engaged in vigorous exercise experienced greater positive psychological functioning than their nonexercising co-twins as measured by the latent factor representing the variance common to 8 measures of mood, optimism, control over life, and interpersonal aspects of personality. The magnitude of the difference was in excess of .4 standard deviations.
Twin studies have demonstrated that personality traits show moderate genetic influence. The conclusions drawn from twin studies rely on the assumptions that twins are representative of the population at large and that monozygotic and dizygotic twins are comparable in every way that might have bearing on the traits being studied. To evaluate these assumptions, we used Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) data from three samples drawn from the Minnesota Twin Registry (totaling 12,971 respondents) to examine the effect sizes associated with mean differences on the 11 MPQ scales and 3 higher-order MPQ factors for singletons versus twins and MZ twins versus DZ twins. The singletons in the samples were family members of the participating twins. We also used ratios of scale variances to examine the significance of variance differences. The only mean or variance difference replicated across all three samples was greater Social Closeness (about .1 standard deviation) for twins than for singletons. This difference was obtained for both males and females. It would appear that, with respect to personality, twins are not systematically different from other people. Our results also highlight the importance of replication in psychological research because each of our large samples showed differences not replicated in other samples.
Previous studies on maternal work hours and child diet quality have reported conflicting findings possibly due to differences in study design, lack of a comprehensive measure of diet quality and differing ages of the children under investigation. The present study aimed to prospectively examine the impact of parental work hours from age 1 year to age 14 years on adolescent diet quality.
Multivariate linear regression models were used to examine independent associations between parents’ work hours at each follow-up and across 14 years and adolescent diet quality at age 14 years. A diet quality index was based on the international literature and Australian recommendations, consisting of six food groups and nine nutrients.
Perth, Western Australia.
Children (n 1629) participating in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study.
Compared with children of mothers in full-time employment, children of mothers who were not employed in early childhood up to age 5 years had a higher average diet quality score at age 14 years, independent of maternal and family socio-economic status. Across 14 years the number of years the mother worked full time and increasing average weekly hours were associated with lower diet quality. Father's work hours had little association with adolescent diet quality.
Having a mother stay at home in early to middle childhood is associated with better diet quality in adolescence. Support may be beneficial for families where the mother returns to full-time employment before the child reaches 8 years of age.
Objective. The Babesia bovis genome encodes a rap-1 related gene denominated RAP-1 related antigen (RRA). In this study, we analysed the pattern of expression, immunogenicity and functional relevance of RRA. Methods. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the program Phylip. Expression of rra was analysed by Northern blots, RT-PCR, immunoprecipitation, Western blots and immunofluorescence. RRA antigenicity was tested by T-cell proliferation and Western blot analysis, and functional relevance was determined in an in vitro neutralization assay. Results. RRA is more closely related to RAP-1b of Babesia bigemina than to B. bovis RAP-1, and it is highly conserved among distinct strains. Transcriptional analysis suggests lower numbers of rra transcripts compared to rap-1. Immunoprecipitation of metabolically labelled B. bovis proteins with antibodies against synthetic peptides representing predicted antigenic regions of RRA confirmed the expression of a ∼43 kDa RRA in cultured merozoites. Antibodies present in B. bovis hyperimmune sera, but not in field-infected cattle sera, reacted weakly with recombinant RRA, and no significant stimulation was obtained using recombinant RRA as antigen in T-cell proliferation assays, indicating that RRA is a subdominant antigen. Antibodies against RRA synthetic peptides reacted with merozoites using immunofluorescence, and were able to significantly inhibit erythrocyte invasion in in vitro neutralization tests, suggesting functional relevance for parasite survival. Conclusion.B. bovis express a novel subdominant RAP-1-like molecule that may contribute to erythrocyte invasion and/or egression by the parasite.
Latent variable modeling has revealed important conundrums in the DSM classification system. We agree that the network perspective has potential to inspire new insights and resolve some of these conundrums. We note, however, that alone it cannot really help us understand etiology. Etiology, not comorbidity, is the fundamental question.